A Few Tips To Avoid Jewelry Scams
There are so many good, honest jewelers in our country that sell a fine product at an honest price. However, like most industries, there are those jewelers who take advantage of unknowing consumers. When buying jewelry from you, I often impart some tough knowledge. Here are a few common scams, which greatly affect the value of jewelry and that I commonly explain to consumers.
Read The Description. It sounds obvious, but jewelry, engagement rings, and diamonds make you in awe and forget to read the label. Jewelers both in-store and online uses lighting or computer-generated images to make you think the diamond quality is acceptable. The quality will be included in the description. Diamonds graded with a clarity of I2 or I3 are not very pretty. I do not suggest buying them at any price.
Avoid Financing. I believe you should be able to afford your jewelry and want you to cherish it. A bad loan on a worthless piece of jewelry will not end with you cherishing that piece (and returning to buy more pieces). The loan-value ratio for jewelry loans is out of balance. With that said, on rare occasions, I sell jewelry that has been financed.
Carat TOTAL Weight Vs Carat Weight Carat TOTAL Weight can be misleading and is different from carat weight. One large diamond is worth more than 10 smaller diamonds that have a combined weight equal to the larger one. So jewelers will quote the total weight versus breaking out the weight of the largest diamond. I should note that some pieces of jewelry are designed with only diamonds or gems of equal sizes like a tennis bracelet or eternity wedding band; in these cases, the quoting carat total weight is the proper way. An engagement ring with a larger center diamond or gemstone should include the carat weight of the largest stone broken out.
Independent Verification In the last 20 years, the jewelry industry has moved towards selling diamonds and gemstones with independent lab reports. I support this change and sell almost all diamonds and gemstones above a half carat with an independent report. These reports keep the retailer honest and give you an idea of the quality from a third party. Please note that diamond and gem reports do vary in authority and consistency.
Overpriced Brands Luxury brands are overpriced and are scam in themselves. I appreciate a well-designed and crafted piece of jewelry more than anyone and believe the designer and craftperson deserve to get paid for their work. However, I see so many luxury brands charging unreasonably high prices. The resale value on those brands is not what you think or what their salesperson promised.
Costume Jewelry Vs Fine Jewelry There is a difference between costume jewelry and fine jewelry though so many costume jewelry sellers will blur the lines between the two. Fine jewelry uses expensive materials that hold value and require trained craftspeople to make whereas costume jewelry uses base metals and can be quickly assembled. However, costume jewelers will blur the line by plating a very, very thin layer of gold on the piece or using descriptors similar to those used in fine jewelry such as "14 karat gold plated". I do not buy costume jewelry.